Gay Gay Go Away
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A lot of ink and electrons were spilled this week over the resignation of openly-gay Richard Grenell as Mitt Romney's foreign police adviser. David Horsey had a few thoughts on the issue.
Richard Grenell had the right resume to be Mitt Romney’s spokesman on foreign policy -- a stint as communications director for four of the George W. Bush administration’s U.N. ambassadors, a degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, his own international PR firm and frequent stints on TV as an expert on international issues. Too bad for him he has a boyfriend.
Grenell was the first openly gay spokesman for a presidential candidate, but he never got to speak. Before he even officially started the job, enraged homophobes in the so-called pro-family community spooked Romney’s campaign staff. The campaign aides tried to stuff Grenell into a metaphorical closet until things blew over. During a major conference call with reporters in which President Obama’s national security policies were dissected, Grenell was forced to sit in silence. [Emphasis added.]
Since Mr. Grenell's resignation and the flap it engendered, Mitt Romney has gone out of his way to 'splain. He really didn't want Grenell to leave. He tried to talk him out of it. He's disappointed that Grenell is gone.
When you have a very competent spokesperson and then diss him by telling him to keep his mouth shut during a conference call with reporters on foreign policy issues lest the base-base get their tighty-whities in a bunch, you can expect him to take a hike because that is the message you sent him.
As Horsey points out, ultra conservative (for his time) Barry Goldwater warned the GOP that caving into the Religious Reich was going to mean trouble for the party in the future:
As far as I know, Richard Grenell’s wrists are firm. I can’t say the same about Romney and his team. Romney is about to become the leader of his party and, perhaps, leader of the Free World. It would be nice to see him man up and tell the medieval wing of his party that it will not dictate to him about whom he hires to run his foreign policy. Instead, as he has for months on the campaign trail, Romney continues to suck up to the anti-gay religious activists, most of whom find his Mormon beliefs repugnant.
Barry Goldwater would not have dumped Ric Grenell; he would have told the carping Bible-thumpers to go to hell. ...
After his retirement from the Senate, Goldwater warned that his party was being taken over by a “bunch of kooks.” Well, the kooks are in charge now, and, apparently, Mitt Romney knows who is boss.
Ordinarily this would give me some satisfaction, but not this time around. You see, Romney's opponent isn't much better on the issue. Obama refuses to endorse gay marriage as a civil rights issue. Most recently, he refused to issue an executive order requiring government contractors to refrain from discrimination based on sexual orientation. He's also pandering to the Religious Reich, even though those people will never vote for him and even though a majority of Americans don't harbor the same anti-gay bigotry.
Tell me again where we get these candidates and why we put up with them. When you've got the answer, pound on my bedroom door and maybe I'll pull the blankets from over my head.